Friday, November 20, 2009

The Goddess Rhiannon

Rhiannon is the beautiful Welsh underworld goddess who travels though out this earthly plane on a speedy horse. She is always accompanied by magical birds that would make the dead wake up and the living fall into a seven year blissful sleep.
     She also was the Welsh horse goddess, the same as the Gaelic goddess Epona and the Irish goddess, Macha. She could also be equivalent to the Roman-Celtic goddess Rigantona, the Great Goddess. Rhiannon could be interpeted to mean the "Divine Queen" of the fairies. The moon was also considered her sign.
     She was the daughter of Hereydd the Old. When it was time for her to get married, she had many suitors. Two of those were Pwyll, a chieftain of Dyfed and Gwawl, the son of Clud. She went against her family's wishes and married Pwyll. Now Gwawl being a sore looser, along with his father, laid a curse upon Pwyll. Rhiannon couldn't have any children for many years and Pwyll blammed her so he mistreated her.
     She finally gave birth to a son name Pryderi meaning "Worry." As a baby, Pryderi was abducted. Rhiannon was found with blood smeared on her mouth and checks. So it was thought that she killed and ate the child. Her punishment for the crime was she had to be Pwyll's gatekeeper. When she meet visitors at the gate, she would tell them her woes and bear them on her back to the door for seven years therefore she became symbolically transformed into a horse.
     Later it was found out that she was falsely accused by her maids, when their son was found. The maids, who was watching the baby, found Pryderi was missing. They were afraid of being punished so they took blood from a puppy and smeared it on Rhiannon's mouth and checks while she was asleep. Then they accused her of killing and eating her own son.
     After Pwyll died she went to live with her son. Pryderi went to fight in a war between Britian and Ireland. In the war, Bran the king of Britain had died and Pryderi brought back his head to Britian. Pryderi was one of seven survivors of the war. When he got home he made his mother, Rhiannon married Manawyddan, the brother of Bran.
     Again trouble follow Rhiannon, her and her son was cursed by Llywd, the son of Kil Coed and friend of Gwawl. He was still a sore looser. Llywd turned her into an ass and her son into a gate-hammer. Manawyddan came to their rescue. Through his cunning and cleverness, they were released of the curse.
This photo is the work of  The Ink Witch.

Story of Rhiannon

     Pwyll met Rhiannon when she appeared as a beautiful woman dressed in gold, riding a white horse. Pwyll sent his horsemen after her, but she was too fast. In fact, she was riding no faster than Pwyll and his knights; her horse's swiftness was a mirage she created for Pwyll's and her benefit because she wanted to be married to Pwyll.  He finally chased her himself. Asking her to stop, Rhiannon told him she would rather marry him than the man who was being forced upon her, Gwawl. After a year from that day, he won her from Gwawl by following Rhiannon's advice to trick Gwawl into climbing into a magic bag that Rhiannon had given to   Pwyll, striking an agreement to free him in exchange for Rhiannon.
     Rhiannon gave birth to a son after three years of their rule. On the night of the birth, the child disappeared while in the care of six of Rhiannon's ladies-in-waiting. They feared that they would be put to death, and to avoid any blame, they smeared blood from a puppy on the sleeping Rhiannon, and lay its bones around her bed. Pwyll's counselors imposed a sentence on Rhiannon for her crime. She had to remain in the court of Arberth for seven years, and to sit every day outside the gate telling her story to all that passed. In addition, she was to carry any visitors to the court on her back.
The child appeared outside a stable of Teyrnon. Teyrnon found the child outside the stable. He and his wife adopted him. The child grew to adulthood in only seven years and was given a foal.  Teyrnon realized who the child was and returned him to Pwyll and Rhiannon, who named him Pryderi.
Pryderi married Cigfa and became Prince of Dyfed after his father died. He then invited his stepfather, Manawydan to live with him in Dyfed. Dyfed turned into a barren wasteland. Only Rhiannon, Pryderi, Cigfa and Manawydan survived. While out hunting one day, Manawydan and Pryderi saw a white boar, they followed. Pryderi and Rhiannon touched a golden bowl that the boar led them to and became enchanted. Manawydan and Cigfa were unable to help them until they captured a mouse which was actually the wife of Llwyd, Rhiannon's enemy who was seeking revenge for her treatment of Gwaw. The the spell was lifted


Daven said...

Could you please credit that B&W pic of Rhiannon to "The Ink Witch"? She drew it for me, and I posted it on my website for a while.

Grannulus said...

Sure. I'm sorry. If you want me to, I will take it off. I do apologize.